North End community correspondent
Recent articles of Doug Kretchmer
After defying public health orders and holding drive-in church services which earned it two fines, Springs Church and others were allowed to go ahead on Dec. 11, albeit with a few restrictions, such as not getting out of your car and keeping your windows rolled up.
So, when I decided to take in one of these services, I made sure I went to the washroom before I left home.
The snow was blowing hard as I headed out to the Springs Church on Lagimodiere Boulevard on Dec. 13 for one of three services that morning. As I entered the parking lot I was greeted by a young woman who was one of the many volunteers guiding traffic toward the big video screen. More volunteers in reflective vests and flags showed the drivers where to park. By the time the service started, it had stopped snowing.
After tuning my car radio to a specific frequency, the approximately one-hour service began with Pastor Leon welcoming everyone from a covered, gazebo-like shelter shown on the big screen. He also claimed that church is an essential service.
I recently came across a show about a notorious jail in New York … Rikers Island.
Some prisoners were interviewed and, although the prison is supposed to be one of the most dangerous in the U.S., some of them claimed that prison life was better for them than out on the streets … three square meals a day, a roof over their heads, a routine.
I couldn’t believe my ears, but the program reminded me of similar discussions I’ve had with people.
I’ve talked with many people over the years (including prison guards and police) in Winnipeg about crime and punishment and some people have echoed the same sentiments … that some people actually do have better living conditions in jail or prison than on the streets. Some have even mentioned that some people (I don’t want to label them all as criminals because some are victims of circumstance) will commit a crime and if they get away with it and profit off it, their living conditions improve; and if they get caught and sentenced to jail … well, their living conditions improve, as well.